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Marmet mayor goes to court over bingo pay

MARMET, W.Va. -- Marmet Mayor Bill Pauley has gone to court over whether he can collect $6.50 an hour to run the town's bingo and raffle games.

Pauley and town officials are suing Town Recorder Dave Fontalbert, and ask Kanawha Circuit Judge James Stucky to rule on whether Pauley can be paid to run the bingo games.

According to the four-page lawsuit filed Monday, town council voted in 1997 to pay the mayor to oversee the raffle and bingo games. Pauley received the payments for the next 13 years.

But a new town council was elected in 2009, ousting many previous council members but keeping Pauley.

Fontalbert, elected recorder, and other council members have been butting heads with the mayor ever since.

In 2010, council members voted to stop paying the mayor to run the bingo games, and Pauley voluntarily agreed to stop accepting payment. But according to the lawsuit, the mayor now wants to start receiving the payments again.

At the time, council members also said that Pauley, a part-time mayor, should not receive PEIA health insurance and suspected him of allowing town employees to use the town's Kroger card for personal use. Pauley had said in the summer of 2010 that if "there was anything done wrong, the council did it." 

Pauley now wants Stucky to rule on whether he was legally collecting the payments before and whether he should still get the payments.

In January, the West Virginia Ethics Commission issued an advisory opinion saying that a mayor can be compensated for running a bingo game, but not at an hourly rate.

Ethics officials said town officials must create a flat rate for the extra service.

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.

 


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